The Elephant to Hollywood


The Elephant of the title refers to a poor section of London, where the actor Michael Caine grew up.  His given name was Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, but when offered his first important acting role he was advised to change the name to something simpler.  Needing a name quick, he noticed the marquee for a movie theater showing the Humphrey Bogart film, “The Caine Mutiny.”  Sixty years, two Academy Awards, and a knighthood later, Michael Caine remains one of the best known actors in the world.  In this, the second of his memoirs (after What’s It All About?, 1992), he recounts events mostly from the last twenty years.  There’s some repetition from the first volume, which is a more expansive version of his life, but Caine remains a casual, self-deprecating, and funny story-teller, making for pleasant company.


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